The presents not to buy this Christmas

How to avoid the gift-giving disappointment

Return to 25 days of Christmas

Christmas buying is stressful, and with the retail world creating an illusion of importance and exclusivity to useless gifts, there are countless presents that are best to avoid. We’ve tried to make your shopping experience a little simpler this year by weeding out the gift-giving pitfalls.

1. Anything suggesting they’re getting a little fat
If you’re buying a gift for someone, you obviously care about their health and well-being. But a treadmill? Unless they’ve asked for a step counter watch or a subscription to a weight loss meal plan, don’t make them feel like they’re at a fatty intervention.

2. Anything chore related
No one wants to be reminded of the chores they haven’t completed before Christmas. So unless you’re a passive-aggressive little pumpkin, don’t buy them paint because they mentioned they might want to repaint the guest room; Don’t buy them a ladder because the gutters need clearing; or a sewing machine because your pants have a hole in them. You’ll just make them anxious and ruin their festive season.

3. Random hobbies
Your giftees have hobbies already. Do you know what they are? If not, find out. While any gift is a nice gesture, they’re probably not going to learn the ukulele if they have no interest in string instruments. Find a present that celebrates their current hobbies and they’ll squeal with a little festive excitement.

4. Those random baskets
While very popular, gift baskets from catalogues often cost more than what’s in them and they’re always shoved into a cupboard or wardrobe until one day, when your rummaging around looking for food, you end up feasting on a packet of stale peanuts. Instead, build your own gift basket filled with everything you know they like. It’s usually cheaper than a pre-made basket, it’s a fun DIY project and they’ll appreciate the effort.

5. Socks
Nobody wants socks for Christmas. Buy your own socks if you do.

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